I watched Netflix’s superb The Social Dilemma the other day and it reminded me just how quickly society can spiral out of control given some slight shifts in technology.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist and so don’t think these large companies set out to achieve the control and power they have over us, but it’s clear that we have become the product of so many businesses and it doesn’t take much of a shift to see how our data might be used in the wrong hands.
I’m lucky enough not to have the responsibility of a child in today’s fast moving, data-driven world, but if I did, I would certainly sit down and watch this film with them: at the very least so they’re aware of how the world they live in is working, even if they choose to ignore it.
As I’ve written here before, being aware of the choices we make is one of the most important tools we have to sustaining some independence. It’s clear we’ll never get back the anonymity we once enjoyed, but if we’re constantly spoon fed only what we want to see and aren’t challenged by an alternative viewpoint (no matter how extreme it may seem) we’re in danger of losing our ‘world view’ altogether.
Life should throw us curve balls and different opinions, it’s how we grow as individuals and as a society. So if we are to use these platforms, our only power to not being ‘pigeon-holed’ is to make some random choices and befriending (or reminding ‘Friend’s’ with) those whose opinions differ to ours. To live in a society that simply pampers our every whim and leaves us unchallenged, I believe, is a worrying thought, no matter who truly controls it.